Sunday, 28 October 2012

REVIEW/THOUGHTS [Movie] -- The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Format Watched: In theatres (Tuesday October 23, 2012)
Approx. Runtime: 102 minutes (1 hour, 42 minutes)
Language Watched: English
Type of Movie: Comedy, Drama, Coming-of-age (sort of)
Overall Impression: As the credits rolled, I still wanted to see more.

PERSONAL STANDING (Pre-exposures, thoughts, etc.)
My only exposure to The Perks of Being a Wallflower was some preview clip while I was waiting for another movie to start (Step Up Revolution). It showed a scene where a girl character (played by Emma Watson) gave the main guy a typewriter with the typewritten message "Write about us some time." Then he typed on the typewriter, "I will."

I thought, What a cute scene. What drew me more was realizing that Emma Watson was in it. I was curious how she would play this character, since I have only seen her play Hermione in the Harry Potter movies.

I was also curious to know what the perks of being a "wallflower" would be, as I believe I am one at times.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie as he starts high school. Being socially withdrawn, Charlie's only friend on his first day is his English teacher. Eventually, he befriends a senior in his Shop class (Patrick). After an unfortunate revelation, Charlie is welcomed into Patrick's circle of friends. The movie then follows their lives as they go through the school year.

There is a lot of voice-over narration and flashback scenes in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. While I hear that voice-over narration is bad writing (making a reference to the Adaptation movie), it was nicely done here. The narration is witty and at times comedic.

The flashbacks, unfortunately, weren't always that clear to me. Sometimes I didn't know what was going on, and flashbacks are where we learn most about Charlie's past. It could be just me, though, since my sister could tell what was going on.

The movie's light, comedic, and very serious. It addresses some serious issues like domestic abuse and sexual abuse. Sometimes I'm surprised by how serious the movie can be and still keep a light air to it.

The acting was amazing. It felt so honest. Huge props to Logan Lerman for successfully pulling off Charlie -- socially withdrawn; clear that he values his friends; clear that he's going through something; but still very likeable.

The characters in The Perks of Being a Wallflower are interesting. When the credits rolled, I still wanted to see more of their lives and see where they go. I liked Patrick, Charlie, Sam, and Mr. Anderson the most.

The music doesn't go with my personal taste, but it fits very well with the movie.

Well... I'll fill this in when I've read the novel.

***EDIT -- October 20, 2015 -- Well, I finally got around to reading the novel, and it was a love / hate experience. I enjoyed the straightforward and blunt writing style, the heartfelt moments, and all the different things it got me to think about. What I didn't like was how immersed I sometimes got and ended up feeling a bit nauseous or not like myself. Frankly, it was hard to read through some parts because of its... mature content and the story's atmosphere (which can feel a bit suffocating at times, at least to me).

Between the novel and the movie, major plot points were presented in both. The novel goes more into detail about Charlie's family life, though, while the movie focused more on Charlie's interactions with Sam and Patrick.

I think if you could only experience one format, I would recommend based on the kind of experience you are looking for. If you want to have an experience where you think about a lot of things, I'd recommend the novel. If you want to experience something serious and light, I'd recommend the movie. For me, personally, I'd prefer the movie.

I greatly enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower. My only qualm is the length -- it needs to be longer! Well, that could be seen as a compliment as well.

Thanks for reading! If you want some more input about something I didn't cover, feel free to ask. :)

Normally, there would be a "Spoilers" section, but I think I covered everything I wanted to talk about.

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